San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Approve Use of Vaccine Card on Blockchain

The City of San Francisco has recently approved the use of VXPASS, a digital version of the COVID-19 vaccine card, becoming the first city in the United States to take advantage of the innovative vaccine card on blockchain

“This is the first blockchain-based vaccine card service accepted by San Francisco. San Francisco was the first to open it up and say we will accept some sort of digital pass in the US, so it is essentially the gold standard of adoption. They have updated their site to reflect this and now you cannot be turned away by showing a VXPASS to a business in the city,” VXPASS Executive Director of International Affairs Justin Pauly said.

The VXPASS app generates a QR code that can be presented, together with a valid photo identification, at businesses as proof of being fully vaccinated. What makes VXPASS unique from other digital vaccine card providers is that information on each digital version of the vaccine card is verified by certified pharmacists. 

“The other solutions are essentially self-validation and are not really verified—they are essentially just a picture of your card. Ours is verified against a credentialing body—sometimes its doctors, most of the time its pharmacists,” Pauly pointed out. 

“The pharmacists would look at that [identification]. They then look you up on the database, make sure that the information is correct, and then they essentially stake their name and their operational ID against that record, validating that it is correct. The interesting thing about VXPASS, and this is why it’s a verified health record instead of just an electronic health record, is once we put it on-chain, it’s immutable—it’s on-chain, its unchangeable,” Pauly added.

VXPASS uses the BSV blockchain, the largest and only scalable public blockchain, to record all vaccination data. Unlocking unbounded scalability means building on Bitcoin has no limit. As the network continues to scale, the BSV blockchain will be able to accommodate bigger data blocks, increase the rate of instant transactions and lower its fees to mere fractions of a cent. 

“BSV is viable and reliable, and it’s quick enough that we can do it in a live demo. You don’t have to sit and wait—it just always works. The cool thing is that with BSV, we could literally write 10 billion records a month and have plenty of bandwidth left over to do whatever else we wanted,” Pauly explained.

“Unlike our competitors, VXPASS is for life. For some of them, you have to pay monthly to track the vaccine status of employees. In market, we’re far less expensive than others,” Pauly added.

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On top of this, VXPASS ensures the privacy of vaccine cardholders. And because the digital version of the vaccine card is recorded immutably on the blockchain, getting comprehensive data about COVID-19 vaccination rollout is easier without the system divulging the identity of vaccinated individuals. Yes, vaccine records will be anonymous.

With this kind of system in place, government agencies and other stakeholders will also be able to more efficiently gather data that can be used not only to check the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, but also to analyze other aspects of vaccination rollout, such as which age bracket has the lowest percentage of vaccination, for instance.

Citizens of San Francisco can obtain the VXPASS digital vaccine card at vaccination sites for those who have yet to be vaccinated. And for those who are already fully vaccinated, people can go to accredited pharmacies so their vaccine data can be encoded. Everything is quick and easy—so fast that most of the time, vaccine holders could not believe the process has been completed.

“In VXPASS, when you sign up as a new patient and you go through the process, our biggest complaint was that it happens too quickly and people couldn’t believe that we’d written something to the blockchain. So, we had to put information slides within the application’s sign-up process. It’s such small amounts of data and BSV has such a quick turnaround that we had to slow the process down,” Pauly revealed.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant has further highlighted the need for vaccination, as well as the fact that COVID-19 is becoming endemic. This means that, sadly, proof of vaccination will be relevant for the years to come. And because VXPASS data lives on the blockchain forever, it can also be used for a long time to keep track of vaccination records. 

And this is why the number of pharmacies that has chosen to onboard with VXPASS continues to rise. According to Pauly, VXPASS has already onboarded over 50,000 pharmacies at an average of about 900 per hour. 

And this is just the beginning. Because VXPASS is built on the BSV blockchain, which is capable of limitless scaling, onboarding even five million pharmacies is possible. VXPASS can handle nationwide onboarding once other cities and states recognize the true value of vaccine card on blockchain. 

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